So, last night we bade farewell to the year that our neighbours Zambia proved that with self-belief, it is possible in the beautiful game of football to win Africa’s biggest football festival—the Africa Cup of Nations—for the first time.
We said goodbye to the year in which Chris Katongo and his charges beat Cote d’Ivoire, a side plastered with superstars in the likes of Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure to win the African showpiece.
And who can forget such sights and sounds in Zambia’s capital Lusaka—prostitutes offering free sex to the fans after that hugely momentous feat. It was reported that at a place called Corogo, a man in his mid 20s was even beaten up after he took long to ‘perform’ when his turn came as others waited anxiously for their turn.
Ladies and gentlemen, last night, we bid farewell to the year in which Drogba inspired my Blues to end their lengthy wait by winning the Uefa Champions League after beating Bayern Munich.
We said goodbye to the year in which my beloved Flames performed miserably and even struggled against little-known teams such as Eritrea. The Flames were so pathetic as to win only four out of 16 games.
We said adieu to the year in which Big Bullets red-hot forward Gabadinho Mhango, Gerald Phiri Jnr and Micium Mhone set the local stage alight with magical skills that left fans a little out of their breath. The year in which Carlsberg Malawi Limited revived its romance with local football by sponsoring the country’s football heavyweights—Mighty Wanderers and Big Bullets—a move that brought back excitement to local football.
We said goodbye to the year in which we lost our football legends and my beloved uncle Henry Chapasi Moyo and Ganizani Masiye come to mind. Sadly, we also lost president Bingu wa Mutharika. May their souls rest in peace. And we embraced the first female president, my mom Joyce Hilda Mtila Banda.
That was a year in which a delicacy called bonya became the daily dish as the country battled a severe economic squeeze. And the year in which the song Uloliwe by South African songbird Zahara cheered my spirits.
By the way, the world was also robbed of an American artist Whitney Houston who had that sweet voice and the anthem ‘I will always love you’ comes to mind and part of it went: ‘Bittersweet memories that is all I’m taking with me. So, goodbye. Please, don’t cry. We both know I’m not what you, you need. And I will always love you…’ Happy New Year! To God be the glory! Uloliwe.. Uloliwe wayidudula hi..Nang’esiza! [The train is pushing!]